English Riding Crit! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-10-2012, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-10-2012, 05:23 PM
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First thing which will improve your position a great deal, is up the stirrup leathers a hole & move your legs way back, you got a bit of a chair position happening. Work on that first, concentrate on getting your legs well back and cuing her & squeezing her further back with your calf. You'll notice she'll respond better, no using your reins without legs, looks like what she needs but more effective, further back leg pressure. Enjoy!
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-10-2012, 08:35 PM
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Leg is much better. Next step, rhythm. Pick a rhythm and stick to it. Get your horse to adopt the rhythm you pick and not the other way around. To start getting your horse to supple a bit, instead of trot continually around the circle, come down to walk for a few steps every 1/2 or 3/4s of the circle for two three steps and go back to trot. Don't transition in the same place twice. Each time you transition, your horse's frame will get a tad shorter. Take up the resulting rein slack but be careful to keep your elbows supple. The idea is to provide inviting contact that your horse wants to stretch into. If he starts chewing gently on the bit, you're in business!
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You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-11-2012, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
The idea is to provide inviting contact that your horse wants to stretch into.
I agree.

This is EXTREMELY boring but have you tried one rein stops with her? This will encourage her to bring her head down and soften her. Once she does, and you start to feel her bend in the poll, immediately reward her by giving some release to your contact. I also did lots of halts and just squeezing and sponging the reins to encourge flexion and dropping of the head. Once my horse brought her head down I released the rein.

Also, when she gets her muscles built up she can begin to carry herself in more of a frame, that will help too. But doing the transitions, the one rein stops and lots of bending and turning will encourage her to flex at the poll and build up her topline and abs. This is what will carry her in a frame and allow her to collect herself. Right now she might struggle to do it for too long. But she will get there. And when she drops her head, reward her.

You are getting better. And wow! The no stirrup canter was great!
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-11-2012, 03:56 PM
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I'm surprised no one's mentioned it yet, but maybe I'm just nit picky. ;) In your trot, I like that you change your posting diagnol when you change your direction...the only issue is, you normally change it to the wrong one! Not a bad thing, it's just tricky to learn. When you're posting, look down and see when your horses' outside shoulder takes a step forward. When it does, that's when you should be rising out of your saddle. I know it's a little tricky, especially on a smaller horse with shorter strides, but it's easier for your horse to carry you around turns and generally looks a lot smoother, too. :)
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-11-2012, 04:52 PM
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you have definitely gotten better , and knowing that you have no teacher to help, this is very admirable progress on your part.
I see that you are more comfortable in the E saddle, not so stiff and not clamping with the knees.
When you cantered I saw that your lower body was not as loose and able to follow the motion as I bet it is in a W saddle. So, do it again and pretend you are in a W saddle an let your lower back/pelvis follow the motion a bit more. so you won't bump out of the saddle.

The horse worries a lot about the contact, doesn't she? I would try a bit of rding her with both more and less contact. Less contact can mean a totally looping rein. Might even try putting heavy rope reins on her , ride her with no contact at all unless you need it. the idea being that you work soley on posting without the benefit of any balancing on the reins. you would incorporate what Puck said about setting a rythm and sticking with it.

The way you have contact now, it's a bit inconsistent, so making it a bit stronger (shortening the reins) might help. You'd have to put more leg on, too.
AND, the mare is being over bent to the inside and drifting out through her outside shoulder.
Try riding her with basically ONE rein; the outside. keep it pretty stead and use it against the neck to turn her to the inside if you need to. use the inside rein almost not at all, but if you need to remind her to bend to the inside, you can put a little tickly on it and ask her to flex to the inside. But keep your outside rein on constant contact. You still have to follow the mouth, but never let it "gap", and don't let her "break" at the base of the neck. I mean don't let her kind of jacknife where her neck goes left and her shoulders go right. Know what I mean?
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-11-2012, 08:31 PM
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I just noticed that your holding the reins too tight and you hands are a bit too far up on the horses neck. He is fighting for his head in this video. Try to use your seat and legs more. Try to move with your horse more...and it will start to come together...keep at it your doing great. I Love you horse too
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